Grandma Jettie's Bagels

November 18, 1997

Grandma Jettie's Bagels

Grandma Jettie's Bagels

1 package yeast

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups warm water

8 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

Stir yeast and sugar into warm water; set aside until it bubbles. Sift flour into a 5-quart bowl and add salt. Make a depression; add eggs and oil. Slowly pour water and yeast mixture into the depression while stirring. Mix with large spoon until thick and very sticky. Add more flour if it is too soft. The resulting ball of dough should be dry enough to work without sticking to the bowl or your hands. Knead with both hands until the dough is elastic and fairly heavy. This takes about 10 minutes. Dust ball of dough with flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise overnight in the refrigerator.


Push the dough down and set the ball out on a floured board. Cut into 18 or 20 pieces. Shape by rolling each into a tight ball between the palms and make the hole by indenting through the center with your thumbs. Continue to shape the bagel until an egg could pass easily through the hole. Flour the bottom of the bagels to prevent sticking and set them on pans lined with tea towels. Keep them spread out. Let rise about 30 minutes in a warm oven until they double in size. While the bagels are rising, bring a large soup pot of water to a rolling boil.

After bagels rise, drop into pot of water and boil on each side for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from water and bake on nonstick pans for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool on a rack, if you can wait. Yields 18 to 20 bagels.

- recipe courtesy of Dr. M. Douglas Becker

Here are some tips from Dr. M. Douglas Becker on making bagels:

Preparing the dough:

* Roll dough on a nonstick surface.

* The dough also can be used to make bread, pizza or bread sticks, but don't boil it before baking. It also can be prepared in a breadmaker.

* Be patient if you're new to baking, as it takes time to get the feel of the dough.

Becker's Grandma Jettie Cohen made Krakow-style bagels, which featured a long, thin strip of dough that was looped, tied and pinched together, leaving a big hole in the center.

Becker prefers to make New Haven-style bagels, which are more round and uniform.


* Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar to the water before boiling bagels. This glazes them and gives a shiny crust.

The poaching process stops the dough from rising.


* Bagels can be frozen, or kept in a breadbox for two or three days.

Storing the bagels usually isn't a problem, Becker says.

"Fresh bagels are so tasty that they don't stay around for long," he says.

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